Augmented reality education
Japanese publishing firm Tokyo Shoseki is taking a bold approach to education with a new line of augmented reality textbooks. The books are part of the company’s English course called New Horizon. The series is meant to help adults study the English language and the company believes that augmented reality will make the process more intuitive and effective. There has been some experimentation with the use of mobile technology in Japan, such as using iPads in classrooms, but Tokyo Shoseki believes that a simple smart phone would be a more practical approach to education.
The textbooks do not offer the same level of interaction that can be found on tablet devices, but Tokyo Shoseki believes that the augmented reality component will be a big hit with students that are more attuned to technology. The initiative is expected to be successful based on the proliferation of smart phones throughout the country. The publishing firm has developed an iPhone application that allows students to unlock the digital content contain within the pages of the textbooks.
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This content ranges from videos to lines of text that students are encouraged to translate. The textbooks are designed to appeal to Japanese pop culture and trends, taking on a decidedly manga (a type of Japanese art popular in Japan) aesthetic. Tokyo Shoseki has already seen positive results in initial market testing.
Augmented reality textbooks are a subject that has been debated over the past few years. Because academic curriculum and mobile technology are constantly changing, using tablet mobile devices can be somewhat costly and risky for educational organizations. If these devices are harmed in some way or stolen, the organization using them would be liable for replacing the equipment, which can quickly become very expensive. Textbooks, however, can remain in circulation for a longer period of time than tablets and can withstand more punishment from students. Furthermore, the augmented reality content stored within the pages of a textbook can be updated as necessary.
Tokyo Shoseki believes that augmented reality is the best option for the future of academia and will continue to develop and publish textbooks using the technology for their New Horizons line.